Take a closer look at the new Zenith Chronomaster Original For fans of El Primero Reference A386, these three standard production successor products can provide everything you need.
Zenith El Primero Reference A386 is one of the most well-known and desirable watches of all time. It debuted in 1969 and was one of the first self-winding chronographs. But this is the first high-frequency (36,000 beats per hour), column wheel, and full-rotor integrated chronograph movement in history. Its design is also very sexy. No wonder audiophiles are so keen to get one.
Unfortunately for collectors, between 1969 and 1971, Reference A386 only produced 2,500 pieces, which makes this particular El Primero watch your elusive watch.
Over the years, Zenith has kept its dream of A386 by launching limited editions and tribute models from time to time. The company recently released the most exciting revival series-Chronomaster Original. We have time to sit on this watch, which is why we think it is so exciting.
For enthusiasts, the most exciting aspect of Chronomaster Original is that it has no limits.
The last modification of this iconic timepiece was in 2019, when Zenith released the 50th anniversary El Primero A386 Revival. The trilogy is available in platinum, pink gold and gold styles, each limited to 50 pieces. Although some collectors are attracted by the limited edition because of its uniqueness, most enthusiasts just want to understand this history of watches.
Another interesting development is that Chronomaster Original is the first infinite steel replica of the A386. It also echoes the 1969 original version in terms of silhouette and size: it uses the same frameless case design with pumped chronograph buttons, box-shaped crystals, multi-faceted lugs, and a mix of radial brushed and polished surfaces, and The size is 38 mm.
Although aesthetics contributed to the initial success of previous A386 tribute works, these new versions, as the name suggests, are also original works.
These three products offer two different dials: gray, black and blue tricolor dials, available in steel or rose gold, or black and silver reverse Panda stainless steel dials. Although the new Chronomaster Originals can be immediately identified as El Primero, the paddle-shaped second hand of the original A386 has been replaced with a straight red painted hand for more precise reading of the tenth of a second. The logo has also been updated to reflect the logo used today by Zenith.
Under the hood, Chronomaster Original is equipped with modern El Primero automatic chronograph movement Calibre 3600. This mechanism is the latest version of the El Primero movement and can now measure and display the elapsed time to 1/10 second. This progress also requires some redesign of the black internal scale around the dial to enable it to track 1/10 second instead of 1/100 hour. The self-winding movement is another initiative that can be viewed through the sapphire case back and has a 60-hour power reserve.
Obviously, Zenith is listening to the opinions of the watch collection community through this series. Nevertheless, any standard production timepiece will lack some of the bells and whistles of the limited edition. One criticism from super fans is that the dial surface is a bit flat, and the khaki Super-LumiNova used on the hour markers and trapezoidal hands feels a bit ordinary. But this is a small price to pay for accessibility.
Although a large part of Chronomaster Original’s appeal is its traditional appearance, it still feels fresh thanks to the calfskin strap. The stainless steel version with silver dial is paired with a navy blue strap, the black dial version is saddle brown, and the rose gold version is a rich smoky brown. For the stainless steel example, buyers can also choose a three-ring oyster bracelet (although we also hope that one day we can choose the iconic Gay Frères trapezoidal bracelet, which was an important part of the 1969 edition of the A386).
Similarly, Chronomaster Original has three versions. The stainless steel case has the iconic three-color dial configuration; the reverse panda black dial with silver chronograph, also made of steel; and the 18-carat rose gold version with the iconic three-color dial.